A national program to evaluate the health condition of the Romanian people was postponed for the second quarter of 2007 as Romanian MPs could not agree with the spending of 900 million RON (about 300 million euro) for the sake of a ministerial order.

Health minister Eugen Nicolaescu must now review the text of the draft legislation and turn it into a governmental decision before the “census of the sick” is applied.

Nicolaescu announced his initiative two months ago as a means to collect the necessary data to prevent the spread of high-impact diseases among Romanians. But “we must now restart all procedures, which will take at least 2-3 months. Normally, the program would start in April and end in June 2008”, minister Nicolaescu has told Hotnews.ro.

Parliamentarians, doctors and hospital managers have challenged the program as they considered it non-essential for the priorities of Romania’s health system.

The plan was aimed at evaluating the health condition of the entire Romanian population, insured or not. The money would result from a vice tax which drew more funds to the state budget than expected in 2006, according to Nicolaescu.